island chic

Luxury in Mallorca

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a 1950s building in Palma, the capital of the Spanish island of Mallorca, this three-bedroom penthouse is a study in understated luxury, derived from the design-conscious homeowners’ request for an aesthetic they termed “Milan in the Mediterranean.”

The Barcelona-based firm Isabel Lopez Vilalta + Associates achieved an authoritative gravitas and serene sense of timelessness by emphasizing strong neutrals in the décor – primarily black and white, with brass and gold tones in hardware elements and lighting fixtures, and a varied textural palette incorporating linen, leather and velvet. Dark-stained banks of closets and other cabinetry, along with limestone floors and unusually deep or curved coffered ceilings, form a distinctive envelope for the sleek contemporary furnishings that, while undeniably sophisticated, still feel relaxed and informal.




influence is most explicit in pieces from such classic Italian makers as Poliform, Cassina, Minotti and Flexform. Lighting from the global design brand GUBI predominates, while work by contemporary Spanish artists in every room enhances the sense of place.

In the entry, the clean functionality of a GUBI Gravity table lamp with a cylindrical base establishes a no-nonsense welcome. An open-backed shelving unit between the entry hall and living room establishes visual connection between the spaces and allows light and to penetrate the apartment’s core.




seating in the living area takes the form of a long, low sofa configured in a cozy L, while a leather armchair with a raked back, marble-topped coffee and side tables, a mottled carpet and contemporary artwork add to a scheme that invites lounging.





and marble prevail in the kitchen, from the high-end German manufacturer Bulthaup, and in the dining area, where an oval Moon Dining Table and tweedy upholstered chairs with rounded arms convey a pleasing softness that more rectilinear furniture would not. Multi-Light pendants, designed in 1972 by Danish architect Louis Weisdorf, along with a portrait by Andrea Torres and a noteworthy ceramic vessel by Abigail Ozora Simpson, pack an edgier punch.





private areas are kept simple. Bedrooms are spare and tailored, with velvet pillow shams for a suggestion of luxury. Greta Grossman’s 1950s Cobra wall lamps wash the walls with soft, indirect light. Baths are pared down, with carefully considered lavatory vessels and brass-toned hardware with uncomplicated silhouettes.





the master bath is sumptuous, with an abundance of gleaming, strikingly veined black Marquina marble. The primary bedroom is anchored by an upholstered headboard and enlivened by a checkerboard rug and a vintage vignette made up of American architect Warren Platner’s 1960s wire chair and ottoman for Knoll and an Akari paper lamp by Isami Noguchi.





as requested: a home in the middle of the blue Mediterranean, with urbane character inspired by mighty Milano.




Design: Isabel López Vilalta + Asociados

Architecture: Claudio Hernandez Alcover

Photography: Salva López





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